As we enter the final instalment of David Hair's series, it is finally revealed to us the devastating plan that Living Saint Lucia Sacrecour and her committee have come up with for this crusade. All events from the beginning of the series have led up to this point and astonishingly enough it was all planned. No matter what failures that occurred within their group they were able to come up with contingency plans to lead to their final show of power. What they did not expect was the Scytale of Corineus getting into the hands of Huriya and Malevorn, two souldrinkers with plans to rise above them all and take control of Urte.
After a battle between Alaron and Ramita, the souldrinkers were able to secure the Scytale after bargaining Nasatya, Ramita's child, for it. However, Nasatya was still taken as a way to keep them from attacking them in future. While pleading and praying to her God's, a powerful woman from history turns up with all the answers for Alaron and Ramita, and also a blasphemous story that explains the rise of the souldrinkers and the wrongful persecution of her. Her name: Lillea Selene Sorades, better known as Corinea. With her knowledge of the original ambrosia, Alaron is able to concoct enough to create a group of ascendant mages who become known as the Merozain Brotherhood, built on the culture and ideals of the Zain monks. Amongst it all and everything they have been through together, Ramita and Alaron fall in love, and the connection they have built with each other eventually becomes what stops devastation overcoming Urte.
Entering the third instalment of David Hair's series, we can feel the tension rising in all story-lines across Urte. The war rages on and the Rondians are being forced back to Yuros with the discovery of Keshi mages, a phenomenon not expected in the Third Crusade. Friendships are split and unlikely relationships form through the need of survival. Running parallel to the devastation of war is the collapse of politics in Antiopia, where usual conventions are challenged by female voices rising above the men's and equality is desired. And then there's the Scytale of Corineus, which is yet to be deciphered and is the key to stopping the corruption that fills Urte as long as it stays in the right hands.
It still lies in the hands of Alaron, who is now on the run with Ramita after a fight with the Inquisitor's and souldrinker's that attacked them on the Isle of Glass. Although the Inquisitor's were there to fight Alaron and take the Scytale away for their own gain, the souldrinker's were there for Ramita but are now aware of the powerful artefacts existence. As they begin their unlikely journey together, another emerges when Cymbella finds herself taken prisoner by the souldrinker's and is looked after by the alpha male, Zaqri, and the battle of attraction and vengeance begins between them. Queen Cera Nesti rallies her people behind her to stop the Dorobon from taking full control while Gurvon finds himself under more pressure to succeed after continuous close-calls and failings in Brochena. Ramon and the rest of his rank walk slowly back towards Yuros with the Keshi hot on their trail, and Ramon tries his best not to lose all the gold he has acquired. Amongst it all are Elena and Kazim, souldrinker and mage who have fallen in love and are fighting in the shadows for justice.
In David Hair's second instalment, the Leviathan Bridge has risen from the ocean and Rondian forces are on the move to begin the Third Crusade. Following the events from Mage's Blood, the character's are now spread all across Urte and more are introduced as Scarlet Tides expands our perspective on the political corruption and deception that is descending upon them.
Cymbella Meiros de Regia has run off with the Scytale of Corineus, a very powerful artefact, in search of her mother, Justina Meiros. Alaron Mercer is now out looking for her with the Inquisition on his trail, his arch-enemy, Malevorn Andevarian, a part of the group hunting him down. Ramon Sensini is placed is Pallacios XIII, a legion known to be filled with rejects and other mages with bad reputations. Ramita in Antiopia is in mourning the death of her husband, Antonin Meiros, while coming to terms with her awakened gnosis through pregnancy. Elena Anborn is controlled by necromancer Rutt Sordell after Cera Nesti betrayed her, thanks to the manipulation of Gurvon Gyle. Then there's Kazim Makani, the souldrinker who killed Antonin for the love of Ramita and is now plagued by his actions, fighting a moral battle between his religion and what he believes is right. This is where our adventure begins in this tantalising sequel.
Find yourself catapulted into the fantasy world of Urte, created by David Hair in his first instalment in The Moontide Quartet series: Mage's Blood. There are two continents, Yuros and Antiopia (otherwise known as Ahmedhassa), which have vastly different cultures, perspectives, religions and more that clash and cause conflict when the two meet. Fortunately, they are separated by the sea, making them two separate islands... until the Moontide arrives.
This results in the Leviathan Bridge, created by the infamous Antonin Meiros, rising from the sea and creating a pathway for the mages and soliders in Yuros to fight in a crusade to assert dominance, take their gold, and more. Mage's Blood starts before the Third Crusade. There is a focus on the traders and mage students in Yuros, where the traders are preparing to go over the bridge and earn gold and mage student's sitting their final exams to be given their jobs where most will be signed onto different solider groups to fight in the Crusade. Over in Antiopia, the focus is on a royal family being served by a mercenary with a dark history and a low-life market girl who is about to be married off to the love of her life.
(Please forgive me for the condition of my book. There was an unfortunate accident on the train that involved a sudden stop and someone falling that resulted in the front being torn.)
Originally titled Cien Años de Soledad, Márquez's text gives an insight into post-colonialism in Colombia. It is known to be a difficult text to read, both in it's style and it's subject matter, but it highlights some important themes and is a pinnacle text that popularised the style of magical realism. It is a story that tells about the Buendia family in the fictional village of Macondo and details what happens from the founding of Macondo to 100 years after.
It is written with an omniscient narrator, which guides us to see the perspectives of all the Buendia family members. There are quite a number of Buendia's and there is a lot of repetition with the names they are given. This is used to emphasise the cyclical nature of life, with the younger family members thinking and acting the same as their parents or grandparents and their actions resulting in similar consequences. The story also parallels with some historical moments in Colombia, like the Banana Massacre. However, one obvious characteristic of the story is the way it is written, and this is where magical realism comes into play.
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.